The government has announced the opening of a competition for a £400m second round of the £1bn Build to Rent fund

mark prisk

Speaking at the Resi conference in Newport, housing minister Mark Prisk said the government had opened the second round due to market interest, and that a minimum of £400m would be made available.

He said: “Today I can announce the second round of the Build to Rent Fund is open for business. We’re really looking for new business models to emerge from the bids we’ll see.”

The first round of the Build to Rent fund, which is designed to support developers of homes for private rent, was massively oversubscribed, with 45 schemes ultimately chosen to receive a share of £700m.

Prisk said the announcement showed the government’s desire to see real growth in the private-rented sector, which he now said was seeing “not just interest, but real deals”.

Bids have to be tabled by October 31, with a prospectus and application form available on the Homes and Communities Agency website.

Prisk also defended the government’s Help to Buy programme despite fears it will lead to a property bubble, and the intervention of Liberal Democrat business secretary Vince Cable yesterday, who said the roll out of the second phase of Help to Buy may have to delayed because of the risk of the market overheating.

Prisk told Building: “The government is very clear that neither the equity loan or the guarantee element of the programme are of the scope to cause a bubble.

“The government is focused on looking at the impact, but we’re five months in and so the tales of doom and gloom are somewhat premature. Remember Help to Buy represents just 2% of all housing transactions.

“The greater danger would be to go back to the bad old days of 100% mortgages and self certification mortgages. Those days are over.”